As demand ramps up, state likely to experience some delays in COVID vaccine distribution

SoutheastHEALTH is getting ready to ship the Pfizer vaccine to other medical facilities
SoutheastHEALTH is getting ready to ship the Pfizer vaccine to other medical facilities(KFVS)
Updated: Dec. 17, 2020 at 6:12 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A state Health Department spokesperson said Thursday that the distribution of its initial vaccine allotment was likely to experience at least partial delays while drug manufacturers worked to deliver doses of the vaccine across the country.

As of Thursday night, the state is still expecting to receive as many as 45,825 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 36,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by the end of the year.

The eventual delivery of vials of the Moderna vaccine is pending approval by the FDA, which was expected to happen on Friday.

The delays could be as short as a few days. 4,875 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were scheduled to have been delivered on Monday, the day the first doses were to arrive in the islands ― but instead, a single tray containing 975 doses arrived in its place.

Four more trays arrived on Wednesday, carrying the rest of the doses, and the Department of Health says it is asking for the public’s patience throughout the vaccination distribution process.

Though the state maintains that it is still expecting to receive its roughly 81,000-dose allotment of the vaccine by the end of the month, the Associated Press reported Thursday that several states say they have already been told to expect far fewer doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in its second week of distribution.

The governors of Washington and California both said that they had been informed by the federal government to expect around 40% fewer doses of the vaccine than had been expected to arrive.

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